Bars escape Spanish workplace smoking ban

16 December 2005
Bars escape Spanish workplace smoking ban

Lawmakers in Spain have voted in favour of banning smoking in the workplace.

The new law will come in from 1 January next year and prohibits smoking in office buildings, shopping centres and on public transport.

However, small bars and pubs will have a choice between going non-smoking or not as long as they clearly display their premises' status.

Larger bars and restaurants, with more than 100sq m, will have eight months to introduce non-smoking areas into their premises. Children will be barred from smoking areas.

It is claimed a third of Spaniards smoke and the government there says 50,000 citizens die each year from smoke-related diseases.

In the UK, the influential Health Select Committee is expected to release its highly critical report on the Government's half-way house smoking ban proposals for England, this Monday.

The committee is expected to dismiss the current plans as unworkable and call for a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places in England.

by Chris Druce

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